Suburban man shot woman while on felony pretrial release, prosecutors say

Prosecutors have charged a University Park man with shooting a woman in the suburbs last month while on felony pretrial release for an aggravated fleeing case. Abel Barnes, 41, was detained during a court hearing Wednesday by Judge Luciano Panici.

Cook County sheriff’s police responded to the shooting in Ford Heights around 8:53 p.m. on January 12. Officers found a 27-year-old woman in the 1300 block of East Lincoln Highway with multiple gunshot wounds.

Investigators determined that Barnes had been in an argument with the woman and threatened to shoot her, the sheriff’s office said. Officials said he followed through on that threat and fled the scene.

Barnes was arrested on Tuesday after he appeared in court on a pending felony case. In that matter, filed in February 2023, South Chicago Heights police accused him of speeding 75 mph in a 45 mph zone to evade a traffic stop.

Abel Barnes (Cook County sheriff’s office)

Once he did stop, he “challenged offices to shoot him,” a prosecutor said during his initial bail hearing. He posted a $1,000 bail deposit and went home later that day.

During last year’s hearing, an assistant state’s attorney said Barnes was convicted of aggravated battery by discharge of a firearm in 2002, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm in 2019, and possessing controlled substances in 2013 and 2002. 

He is now charged with attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery by discharging a firearm, and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm in connection with last month’s shooting, according to the sheriff’s office.

Editor’s note: Because the allegations stem from an incident outside the Chicago city limits, Barnes will not be included in CWBChicago’s list of people charged with shooting, killing, or trying to shoot or kill people while on felony bond. He will, however, be listed as a “dishonorable mention.”

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com